The academic calendar for the 2019-2020 school year, which was approved by the Board of Education this month, is now available online.
The calendar was drafted with input from a committee made up of principals, union representatives, and departments across the district, as well as the District Advisory Committee.
The first day of school for students will be Aug. 26, and the final day of classes for students will be May 29.
The academic calendar includes the first districtwide holiday and day of community service in honor of Latino empowerment icons César Chávez and Dolores Huerta on Monday, March 30. Meanwhile, the Fall Holiday is set for Wednesday, Oct. 9.
HISD’s Innovation and Postsecondary Programming will host Advanced Placement Parent Night— an informational event where parents can learn more about AP courses at HISD.
The event will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W 18th St. Houston 77092).
All HISD middle and high schools offer advanced-level coursework designed to prepare students for success in college. During the 2017-2018 school year, 10,242 HISD students received college credit by scoring well on their AP exams, saving their families $11,782,500 in college tuition. Both AP and pre-AP courses leverage rigorous instruction to help students become independent learners. Continue reading →
HISD Nutrition Services is gearing up to host its annual Thanksgiving lunch for students across the district on Thursday, Nov. 15.
The special celebration, occurring during normal lunch hours, is an HISD tradition that has attracted thousands of families to school cafeterias for more than 50 years. The event gives parents a chance to celebrate the holiday a week early by sharing a meal with their children.
HISD bus riders at 22 pilot schools across the district began scanning their badges as they got on and off the bus this week as part of the official launch of Student Badge Program.
The 22 pilot schools were tapped to lead the initiative, giving Transportation Services time to review the initial rollout and refine the program as needed before implementing it districtwide next week.
Bus riders at all remaining HISD schools will begin scanning their badges during the week of Oct. 29.
“No one will be refused transportation if they don’t have a badge. However, it’s important for students to remember to bring and scan their badges every day,” Transportation Services Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “These badges give us — and their parents — access to real-time information about when and where students get off the bus. But no badge equals no data.” Continue reading →
HISD Transportation Services began distributing personalized badges this week to HISD student bus riders as part of the district’s Student Badge Program.
Badge distribution began Thursday, Oct. 18 and Friday, Oct. 19 for a 22-school pilot group with general distribution across the district set to begin on Monday, Oct. 22.
The 22-school pilot group includes: Elmore, Herod, Lockhart, Parker, and River Oaks elementary schools; Woodson PK-5; Fondren, Pershing and West Briar middle schools; Carnegie Vanguard, Chavez, Lamar, Waltrip, Westbury, and Westside high schools; DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School; Houston Academy for International Studies, Gregory-Lincoln Educational Center, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan; Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men; and High School for Law and Justice. Continue reading →
Music, laughter, and cheers filled the courtyard at Marshall Middle Academy of Fine Arts on Tuesday as students, employees, and community members participated in the HISD Police Department’s National Night Out celebration.
National Night Out is an annual event that aims to make neighborhoods safer by strengthening relationships between community members and police departments. HISD Police honored the day with a free public celebration, which featured local vendors and organizations, music, food, and appearances from emergency personnel.
“NNO is just a festive day. We host these events because we want our communities to feel relaxed in their neighborhoods,” HISD Chief Police Paul Cordova said. “We want them to collaborate on how to solve problems, meet each other, meet us, and feel comfortable.”
When most people think about students’ favorite lunches, they think of the standards – pizza, hamburgers, mac and cheese. But the introduction of salad bars at school cafeterias across the district is challenging the notion of what students enjoy eating.
Last year, the Houston Independent School District’s Nutrition Services department introduced salad bars as a standard option at more than 20 elementary schools. The pilot program was a first for elementary schools and proved so successful that salads made up more than half the meals served on the first day. Continue reading →
Clad in super hero capes and masks, enthusiastic teachers and staff gathered in the foyer of the new Lawson Middle School to welcome students for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.
Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said the costumes were a reminder to students and parents of their power to move the campus forward and conquer obstacles that stand before them.
“It’s a new era of academic achievement” Bailey said. “Lawson’s academic status is now ‘Growth Distinction.’ We are no longer ‘Improvement Required.’ That alone has given us the additional boost of excitement preparing us for this new academic achievement.”
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved a $2 billion budget for the 2018-2019 school year.
The budget includes $17 million in increases for special education, dyslexia programs, and Achieve 180, the research-based program that will continue next school year to support underserved and underperforming schools. The budget also includes a performance review by the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB).
The board also voted to reduce the proposed performance review allotment from $2.5 million to $1 million, with the difference of $1.5 million being transferred immediately to the general fund reserve for operations. The total cost of the performance review to be conducted by the LBB has not yet been determined. The LBB is expected to begin working on the performance review in fall 2018 so that findings may be used by the board in the decision-making process during the next budget cycle.
As other large school districts in Texas, HISD continues to face looming budget shortfalls in the coming years due to inadequate state funding and increasing recapture payments. HISD has been designated by the state as a property-wealthy school district under the state’s school finance system, despite the fact that almost 80 percent of students are considered low-income.
Recapture requires districts that exceed a certain per-student property wealth level to send local tax dollars to the state. The 2018-19 budget has a $272.5 million recapture payment budgeted.
Houston Independent School District students showed strong gains that exceeded those made by the state in third- through eighth-grade reading and math, and on end-of-course (EOC) assessments in English I and Algebra I, according to preliminary 2018 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores.
“This year, our students made significant progress on the state-mandated STAAR tests,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are excited about what these preliminary results mean for our schools labeled by the state as Improvement Required and our district’s accountability ratings. HISD is shifting course and turning schools around. We know that it is critical that we continue our commitment to strengthening the supports in place to further advance our progress in student achievement.”
Overall, the spring administration of the 2018 STAAR grades 3-8 assessment results indicate the district held steady or showed increases in the percentage of students meeting the Approaches Grade Level standard in reading, math, science, and social studies. Continue reading →